Online Architect Courses and Classes Overview

Several postsecondary schools offer online courses in architecture; however, due to the hands-on nature of the field, many courses are only available in hybrid format, which includes online and on-campus coursework.

Online Courses in Architecture

Some commonly offered online architecture courses are described below.

  • Introductory Architecture Course: In this course, students usually study the definition and history of architecture. Instructors often lead students in online discussions about the different theories and practices of architecture. Some instructors may assign projects that require the students to research and write about different architects and their design styles and techniques.
  • History of Architecture Course: Students in a history of architecture course usually study how architecture, design, construction and style have changed over time. Sometimes this course is divided into multiple sections that focus on shorter periods of time. Often, instructors lead online discussions, via a chat forum or discussion board, about architects of the past and the effect their work has had on modern architecture.
  • Introductory Architecture Design Course: This course is generally taken towards the beginning of an architecture program. Students may study design theory and the personal design style of famous architects throughout history. Instructors may lead students in online discussions about how to combine aesthetic design and functionality.
  • Computer Use in Architecture Course: A computer use course is usually taken in the beginning of a student's architecture program and is sometimes repeated at higher levels for a more in-depth look at the use of technology in architecture. Instructors may provide online lectures for students about the current uses of computers in architecture. Some programs may provide on-campus or virtual computer labs for students to experiment with common architecture software and technology.
  • Space and Composition Course: This course allows students to look at architecture from a spatial perspective. Students may participate in online discussions about the relationship between architecture and the natural environment. They may also study different theories on space and composition within the design of a structure.
  • Materials, Building and Construction Course: In this course, students may learn about the different types of building materials and the challenges of construction. Through online discussions and lectures, instructors often introduce students to some of the legal aspects of construction, such as obtaining city permits and following building codes.
  • Spatial Planning and Programming Course: In this course students will learn about common issues in spatial planning, and how to address them to best suit their client. The course will also train students in different options for development and planning analysis. Simulations will give students the opportunity to practice planning and budgeting for different projects.
  • Energy in Buildings Course: This class teaches students about the relationship between thermo-science and energy efficient architecture. After this course you should be able to take your understanding of energy and apply it to architectural design.
  • Modern Art Course: Students in this class will learn about modern art, from both the fine art world and in mass culture. Topics will also include sculpture, advertising, architecture and theories of modernism and postmodernism.

Program Information

Students can complete online architecture courses individually or while in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) or a Master of Architecture (M.Arch). Graduates of architecture degree programs may find jobs as architects for government agencies or private firms. In most states, architects must meet licensing requirements. Typical requirements include completion of a professional architecture program (either a B.Arch. or an M.Arch.), along with extensive field experience and an exam. Besides an up-to-date computer with Microsoft Word and Internet access, online architecture students may need advanced software, such as AutoCAD, as well as access to a printer, scanner and digital camera.

Online architecture courses are readily available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels, though many of these classes will be presented in a hybrid format, as some concepts require hands-on learning to master. As a student in one of these programs you may study spatial planning, design, and the history of architecture, among other topics.

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